Future Ferraris to offer seat of the pants sensations to help you drive like a pro


Ferrari has patented a new type of seat that will warn drivers if their car is about to slide.

The system, revealed in a United States Patent and Trademark Office filing, shows a seat fitted with “shakers” that can cause vibrations of varying intensity and frequency. The idea is that the closer you get to the tires’ limit of adhesion the more intensely the seat will shake.

The electronic exciters in the seat are set to vibrate on the left if the oversteer or understeer is coming from the left, and vice versa. Ferrari says the system’s forces can be adjusted or completely switched off.

Ferrari describes the driver assist, as “A driver assistance method for driving a road vehicle and including the steps of: determining whether the road vehicle, while driving along a bend, is oversteering or understeering or is about to oversteer or understeer, and generating a tactile feedback, which can be perceived by a driver, if the road vehicle, while driving along the bend, is oversteering or understeering or is about to oversteer or understeer.”

The patent application goes on to state that while modern safety systems including Electronic Stability Control and ASR traction control are able to “correct” potential driving errors, “by intervening directly in the dynamics of the vehicle,” current systems “do not help the driver to approach the limits.”

Ferrari’s use of touch as form of haptic feedback could extend beyond the vibrations in the seat of the pants to the brake and accelerator pedal as well.

Ferrari adds that its system “allows the driver to approach (in safety) the limits of the road vehicle,” and “gives a ‘normal’ driver the ability to predict a certain amount of time in advance (as a professional driver would) what is happening to the road vehicle in order to be able to correct his or her driving in good time and thus approach the limit of the road vehicle without ever exceeding it.”

There’s no information on when the system will be available or what it will be called. Our vote goes for “Shake and Bake,” what do you think?

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    Well my 2002. Corvette with an older stability system will let it hang out all day with no issue. Any rookie can drift a round about and not end up like a Mustang leaving a coffee meet.

    The later Corvettes have this too. You can choose levels of assist. Or shut it off and really show it if you have the skills.

    Odd, a number of GM vehicles have offered “seat shakers” to warn of lane drift and blind spot interference. I wonder how the prancing horse is different enough to secure a patent, by tying GM shakers into the stability system? Next thing, they will patent the tire noise from running over the “botts dots” on the lane lines.

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